Dear Malcolm Turnbull. I am writing to you with a national issue that is heavy on my heart every day.
I sort of retired in 2012 but prior to that worked across all disadvantaged areas of Sydney and NSW.
It wasn’t till I moved to Bega in 2012 that I realised that rural and remote children are the forgotten children of NSW.
Down here some kids roam the street at night because there is absolutely nothing for them to do especially once night falls. Some are into the drug and alcohol culture, malicious damage, theft and in some cases violence. From much personal experience this is the case in many country towns like Walgett, Dubbo, Wilcannia, Nowra, Eden and so on.
If you and your other Ministers don’t address this issue as a high priority it’s quite possible a whole generation of kids will be lost.
Country shires need at least a major youth centre in each town that outlying kids can get to. Not one that is just all about sports. You need to listen to what the kids want in this day and age. As adults in education we are a provider of a service to children but never ask our customers what they think of the service we provide. Why? Because as adults we always know what is best for them. But do we? I know six-year-olds that are much smarter in a lot of areas than me.
Back in the mists of time the Federal government through its Building the Education Revolution (BER) put very expensive school halls in virtually every school. That is good but what are we doing for kids once the school bell goes?
You are spending buckets of money on infrastructure so this shouldn’t be a problem. Show some real leadership on this issue which is just not a need but a vital necessity
Frank Pearce, Bega
Fix it now
Regarding the Fix it Now campaign, I agree with all that has been said.
I think the lack of upgrades on the Princes Hwy is appalling, especially when you drive south of Eden to Melbourne and every few kilometres there are overtaking lanes on the well-marked, well-signed and well-maintained roads in comparison to NSW, north of Eden.
The lack of an alternate route from Eden to Shoalhaven leaves no option but to use the Princes Hwy.
Parents and carers are regularly travelling to Shoalhaven, Dalmeny, Dapto etc to attend various school and other representative sports as individuals or team members. On occasion a parent might be transporting up to four or more children from different families.
This is a huge responsibility in itself, but more so on such a dangerous highway.
The statistics have proven this and sadly continue to do so.
Name supplied, Merimbula
The outcome of the South Australian election says it all: Liberal Party 37.4%, Labor Party 33.9%, SA Best (Xenophon) 13.7%.
But the Single Member District system delivers the majority of seats to the Liberal Party there who now claims they are governing in “their own right”. Clearly this is nonsense and the middle ground is not represented in government either. It is plainly minority government that the state has ended up with.
Major electoral reform is long overdue in Australia, but blocked by the major parties! End the Single Member District system. Ninety countries in the world have proportional representation – party list. It is based on multi-member districts and results in majority coalition governments.
It cuts out pork barrelling, by-elections, “hung” parliaments, and lengthy counting procedures, the result of unwanted preferencing. People like Xenophon have a big job ahead of them. We should all give him a hand.